Definiteness strategies and word order in existential-locatives and locatives in Late and Vulgar Latin
Keywords:Definiteness strategies and word order in existential-locatives and locatives in Late and Vulgar Latin
§ 1.The parameters which began to undergo a profound change in Late Latin include the marking of definiteness and the gradual fixation of a different word order.1 These two phenomena are brought into connection by M.. Durante's observation (1981, 62) that article development2 is one of the main agents involved3 in the emergence of a fixed order of constituents.
§ 2. The two parameters are still subject to investigation. The discussion of definite ness markers focuses on how and when precisely the article appeared, but it has yielded contradictory conclusions: while some scholars acknowledge the existence of articles in Late and Vulgar Latin texts, such as Egeria's Peregrinatio,4 others deny it.5 Inaddition, there are some less extreme views arguing for an intermediate stage in the long evolution from demonstratives to articles in Late Latin texts.6
The research on word order, especially in Late Latin, frequently focuses on the posi tion of the elements considered basic in the language;7 thus, generally speaking, almost everyone is agreed on the SOV > SV08 change, although an alternation of the two orders can be established for the Classical as well as for the Late period ([S]OV/[S]V0).9
§ 3. With regard to Late and Vulgar Latin, however, there are only a few specialised papers dealing with potential historical changes in the position of the verbs which present special difficulties in the language, not only with their complex semantic content but also with their ability to form multiple constructions. 10 This is the case with the verb sum in structures expressing a semantic notion of location. The relationship between word order and definiteness in these structures has been examined by scholars attempting
ing to explain the difference between the so-called 'locative' constructions (Loe) and 'existential-locatives' (ExL), 11 both containing the verb sum: while the former typically front the location-encoding term (p)with a definite subject, the latter display the opposite distinctive features (a S[-Def]12 appearing in the pS sequence).13
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